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Stocks Struggle amid COVID19 Surges

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LONDON, May 4 Reuters Emerging market stocks struggled to make headway on Tuesday as Taiwan and India wrestled with rising COVID19 infections, with the latter seeing cases surge past 20 million.

Taiwans main stock index, one of the strongest performers in Asia so far this year, was 1.7 down in a second consecutive day of heavy losses, amid a rare rise in infections.

In choppy trade, Indias NSE Nifty 50 index added 0.3 as encouraging corporate earnings were offset by uncertainties around the pandemic.

Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi called for a nationwide lockdown after the worlds biggest surge in coronavirus infections has seen the country become the second to pass the milestone of 20 million cases, after the United States.

Indian markets will likely remain choppy for some time because of the uncertainties around the pandemic. Investors will be waiting for clarity on the vaccine situation, plateauing of cases and whether we will see a central level lockdown again, said Aishvarya Dadheech, fund manager at Ambit Asset Management.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index, of which Taiwan and India are among the largest components along with China and South Korea, was flat.

Chinese markets were closed for a holiday, while stock gauges in Hong Kong and South Korea were 0.8 and 0.6 higher, respectively, with the latter ending a fiveday losing streak.

With the U.S. dollar drifting higher as investors weigh whether a roaring U.S. economic recovery may force interest rates…

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